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‘The 100’ Spoilers: Aaron Ginsburg Teases A Merciless Finale for Season 2

the 100 spoilers

When the Nerdist Writers Panel podcast did their “Year In Review” episode, one of the guests was television writer Aaron Ginsburg (Intelligence), who joined the staff of The 100 for its second season on The CW. Although only eight episodes have aired so far, it’s been a wild ride — full of mayhem, death, and all the intense emotionality we’ve come to expect from the show. If you aren’t watching The 100, then you’re missing out on some truly excellent science fiction storytelling.

In the podcast, Ginsburg is excited to tell host Ben Blacker (Nerdist) about his experiences working on the post-apocalyptic drama. I’ve included the juiciest bits here, so particularly industrious fans may be able glean a little insight into the rest of the season. When you listen to it, the discussion is lighthearted, and Ginsburg sounds like a person who loves his job and is excited to work on the program.

“The very first day I heard what our plan was for the season, what the show-runner [Jason Rothenberg], what he had wanted to do, it was—” Ginsburg pauses to chuckle, “—so fucked up, that I was like ‘This is gonna be awesome. I can’t believe we get to do this.’”

He goes on to say, “Right now we’re writing the first part of the two-part finale, and I think we’ve done it. It’s so insane, and it’s so big, and it’s completely not what you would see on The CW. It’s merciless. It’s really, really merciless.

Ginsburg explains that half the writing staff left The 100 at the end of last year’s production, and the ones who remained “know the world inside out.” In his first month as a newbie, he often wound up pitching ideas that had already been discussed, or that the senior writers would reject as something the character would flatly never do, then explain why. “They’ve been living with these characters,” adds Blacker, and Ginsburg agrees.

“There was a lot of respect, like, to figure out what…” Ginsburg’s remark drifts off, but presumably he means there was an effort among the writers to know what the characters would or would not do, and to respect that.

On the topic of writers interacting with fans on twitter, Ginsburg admits, “I like to sort of tease and coax them into a fury, and then our show-runner likes to just berate them. Because they want certain things, [the fans] want certain characters to be together—you know, like Ross & Rachel style. And he basically is like ‘That will not happen,’ and he puts his foot down and mocks them for it.”

If you watch the show, or know even one person who likes it on social media, then you can infer that he means the question of whether Clarke and Bellamy, the series leads at this point, will finally giving in to their unresolved sexual tension. To say fans that want this to happen is like saying people want Tatiana Maslany to win an Emmy. There’s the average person’s ‘I want a pizza right now’ feeling, and there’s fandom’s unshakable confidence of how things ought to be.

Ginsburg holds to the party line that “it” is not currently happening, but he also admits that it’s not completely off the table, either. You can practically hear him shrugging through mic when he says, “Oddly, I don’t know if… it might happen, we don’t know. [We] talk about it all the time. He kinda doesn’t want to do it, only as [to spite them], which is really weird. But the story might end up there anyway. So, who knows.”

If this season’s to-hell-with-it attitude is an indication, you can expect that any future overtures of romance would probably happen when fans least expect it. Perhaps in the middle of a disastrous bloodbath, or during a geographically implausible volcano eruption. Personally, this fan is rooting for a Mulder/Scully style ‘They were doing it in secret the whole time!’ reveal around season four. Regardless, here’s hoping The CW renews the show, so that we can have several more years of watching beautiful people run through the forest whilst covered in gore and punching through their emotional dilemmas.

  • Hey:)

    Bellarke is endgame! To throw away their natural chemistry that is blatant for all viewers 2 see would be such a waste and a poor decision 2:)

    • Mark Tremonster

      I disagree this show doesn’t need that love crap, part of a reason its the best show on cw lets keep it that way

      • Marta

        I agree with Mark Tremonster

      • SaraLinn

        Do you really think so, though? The reason that 2×08’s finale was so gut-wrenching was *because* Finn and Clarke had a romance. The romantic backstory between them fueled and drove the conflict surrounding Finn in all of season 2. Romantic obsession drove him to drastic actions, and eventually led to his death at the hands of the person he loved. “That love crap” gave us a death scene with some of the best acting from Thomas McDonnell and Eliza Taylor in the series so far.

        It’s easy to say you don’t want romantic “crap” when you’re talking about a potential future storyline, but many of the things that make The 100 great have come from including romantic relationships. Raven, possibly the coolest character on the entire show, fell to Earth out of love. Without that love triangle, however frustrating it might have been, we wouldn’t have had Raven. We wouldn’t have seen Raven and Clarke overcome their awkwardness and become friends. And we wouldn’t get to see them explore new tensions and conflict in season 2 as the fallout from Finn’s death.

        Without romance, we might never have seen Octavia rise to her potential as a warrior and a negotiator, a person willing to fight for the man she chooses to love.

        No one wants romance to completely overpower a program, but without love (romantic, familial, paternal, platonic), I think The 100 would be a very dull show indeed.

      • tanishaX

        I think you are forgetting that this is aimes at teenagera and young adults. These people often like romance in the things they watch. I Dont think that the show should be all about romance but i think it should have a bit of it in there just to bring something new to it. Also i dont understand why JRothenburf constantly says in interview with regards to Bellarke that the show isnt about romance….

        Thats why there was a love triangle going on, a star crossed lovers thing going on and jaspers thing with Maya going on! Im sorry it doesnt make sense and it makes it seem as if he doesnt want bellarke to happen. Why not give Bellamy and Clarke a chance 2 fall in love like hes done with the other characters?? We dont mind if its a slow burn, in fact that will make it wayy better:)

      • Mysha

        If its the best show on the CW then the ratings sure as hell dont show that. Also the buzz that happens online 2 do with Bellarke brings publicity 2 the show as we saw in 2×05 when bellarke first hugged. The ratings increased up2 0.6

  • fan

    I would stop watching it if it came out as he seriously wants to spite bellarke fans. Seriously, bad move.

    • lovethisshow

      I think he just enjoys ruffling our feathers

  • Mark Tremonster

    I couldn’t care less about Bellarke i just freaking love the show

  • sirodnmn

    Finn was the most beautiful person I wanted to watch run through the forest. Now, I’ll never see him again. I wanted Thomas Mcdonell on the show as badly as the producers want to show to stay on the air. He had me counting the days and hours to 9PM Wednesdays. Bellarke people should be glad they still have those characters to watch no matter what. I will never get over losing Finn.

    • Phillip Meadows

      I’m sure you’ll see Thomas McDonnel again. He’s probably already working somewhere.

    • SaraLinn

      I recently saw a gif of Finn’s flowing hair from the pilot, and wow. I’d forgotten how long it was. His glorious, beautiful hair will be missed indeed. I’m very sorry that you lost your favorite character; that’s how I felt about season 3b of Teen Wolf.

  • Marta

    Im sad that Finn is gone, Thomas is a great actor he will be missed. But still I will watch the 100 because is one of the best shows now.

  • cama

    I really appreciate the writers’ disdain for the usual CW fandom shipping pandering. Bellarke will absolutely ruin the show, the way too many other nonsensical ships on that network have ruined shows. You could literally run down a list of any show that’s been on the CW, cancelled or not, and the rabid shipping that has compelled writers to make decisions for characters and their narratives, and indeed the entire architecture of their shows, that have ultimately been detrimental to the storytelling.

    Don’t stop with your philosophy, the 100 Writers. The show feels like an ensemble — there are so many intriguing relationships, romantic, platonic, partner/co-leader, mentor/mentee, adversaries etc. that could be developed and nuanced and an entire world to explore. Any time this show begins to become about two characters who don’t possess even a shred of sexual or relationship chemistry, that’ll be the downfall and I’m out.

    • SaraLinn

      That’s really interesting, because when I listened to the podcast (it’s around minutes 14 to 18 if you don’t want to hunt for it), I didn’t get any vibe of disdain from Ginsburg toward shippers. He made light of the twitter interactions, the teasing that goes back and forth, and he joked about Rothenburg, but ultimately he talked about it–the hypothetical unnamed pairing–as something that’s a possible choice for the show down the line. It was a pretty even-handed and speculative response, the kind you’d expect on a discussion from writers talking to other writers.

      I also don’t think I agree that shipping is the cause of the downfall of television quality. The only two shows I’ve watched for several seasons on the CW are The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural. Supernatural has been damn near devoid of traditional romantic storytelling for its entire run (well, I haven’t seen this year); none of the three men’s supposed romantic relationships lasted more than a season, and they all ended badly. The rise or fall of quality in that case was completely romance-neutral. In almost polar opposite, there’s The Vampire Diaries. That show has had personal romance as the backbone of the story since its first episode. In the first two seasons when it was great, it was great because they did great storytelling. In the last couple seasons when it’s gone downhill, it’s because they’ve done shoddy storytelling. In all six seasons to date they’ve had a rabid shipping fanbase, from the lowest point of the show to the highest.

      There are lots of reasons to watch a show, and no one person’s reason is smarter or more worthy than another person’s. It’s just as valid to watch a show for romance as it is to watch a show for politics, or violence, or family relationships, or heroic achievement. These are all valid human experiences that people can relate to, and most people relate to several at once. I love The 100 right now because I love female characters and politics and science fiction and ethical dilemmas. But I also love a show where I can look at two characters and say “omg hook up already” because hell, that’s fun too.

      Your high horse isn’t so high as you think, my friend. You’ve just convinced yourself of your righteousness to justify knocking your fellow fans. That’s no fun for anyone.

      • cama

        Rothenberg, I think, has a pretty interesting way of trolling the fandom or teasing us that I find rather hilarious. Bellarke could happen but hopefully in a way that does justice to the characters, and then even my sceptical self might be on board.

        I’m going to have to disagree with you just given my experience of the CW’s shows and really, this is something that happens across networks, there’s just a particular way that it happens on CW shows that is pretty striking. Gossip Girl (Chuck and Blair’s intensely abusive relationship which garnered a huge and vocal fanbase was held up as some sort of ideal on the show, despite even the actors’ issues with the relationship, and the writing acrobatics that team went through to make that ship happen did absolutely nothing for the characters); The Vampire Diaries (the love triangle had its own problems as the primary scaffolding for a show but I found it compelling in the first two seasons. But even just looking at the way characters have been written post-S3, largely to facilitate a slew of romantic relationships that don’t make sense on a character level e.g. Caroline/Klaus or are actively hurtful and/or abusive to particular characters e.g. Damon/Elena — and in both cases the writers capitulated to fannish pressure to make them happen in certain ways, and I think it was hurtful. The issues with ships on TVD are reflective of the poor quality of the show’s writing in general, so I’ll own to that as well.); Arrow (Felicity/Oliver was not originally set up as a ship on the show. The actors have good chemistry, that I’ll admit, but the reason the writers went with it is the overwhelming fandom response and outright bullying of another actress on the show to the point where they had no choice but to follow through with a relationship that is full of problematic elements for both characters). In the past, there have been examples like Smallville where Lana/Clark really hindered both characters to an extreme degree and there were plenty of other ship-related issues that were, in part, a fault of the dodgy writing but also very loud fan pressure.

        I think we’ve missed each other. I have nothing against shipping as a mode of enjoyment when watching a TV show. I DO have something against pandering to a ship that has never been sold as the sole selling point of a show. My issue with Bellarke isn’t the ship itself, which isn’t my cup of tea, but they’re awesome co-leaders. It’s just how much it dominates discussion of the show when there are a slew of more interesting things to talk about, as this podcast showed, as some of the comments here show, as the frankly impressively rich universe Rothenberg and his team have created shows us every week. But you wouldn’t know that from many of the posts/tweets I see in fan spaces or the way fans pester the writers. There it appears as though Bellarke is a done deal and is the only reason to get excited about the remarkable story we’re seeing unfold.

        Ship away, I ship plenty of characters. I look at Clarke and Raven and all I want is for them to date and get married and be awesome together. I’m rooting for Thelonius/Marcus/Abby to be in a negotiated polyamorous relationship. But I’m just not into this whole harassing the writing team in the way that a portion of the very loud Bellarke fanbase has done, and that the writers have spoken about multiple times. I’m not going to assume that’s the story the show’s telling like a very loud portion of the Bellarke fanbase continually does. I’m not going to enjoy the fact that every single interview half this cast does has to somehow bring up Bellarke even when the actors have loads more interesting things to say about their own characters (see: Lindsey Morgan interviews especially). I don’t think that’s an unfair ask to make.

        • SaraLinn

          I understand your frustrations. As for shipping affecting storytelling, I think it’s part of the constant background noise that goes along with making a successful series. Producers here it, they joke about it, then they continue on with their work. I’m not really convinced that shipping from the fanbase has the huge effect that some fans think it does. I think the effect is there, and at times its notable, but the choices are from the producers and the network bosses. Not the fans. In the case of Arrow, I’ve read interviews where they describe crew and producers liking Felicity’s character, specifically her chemistry with Oliver, from as early as viewing the production dailies. They decided to write more for her before her first episode (103) even aired. Liking her character is not quite the same thing, I realize, as choosing to give them a romance in season 2 and 3, but from what I’ve read/seen, the interest in that pairing was internally generated as as much externally generated by the fans.

          Saying that producers caved to fan demands, or that they gave in, isn’t a convincing perspective to me, because it lets the creators off the hook. Good or bad, the writers dictate the story that’s being told. If they write a crappy romance, then it’s bc they wrote a crappy romance. No fandom, no matter how huge, can steer the colossal machine that is television and film production. So many opinions, voices, and views go into making every tiny choice for what we see on the screen. Hundreds, sometimes thousands of people working on a program. We the audience get a small window into the result of that, but we don’t pay the bills. Advertisers pay the bills. A show like The 100 will get just as many butts on couches by not resolving Clarke/Bellamy as by resolving it. If the producers go that way, it’ll be on them. It won’t be because fandom shouts louder in season 2 than they did in season 1, or because some fan comes up with a particularly convincing pitch for the pairing.

  • Juliet

    Yes we want to see more of Finn in the show he Was the best one it not the same with out him
    Please change your script for the fans to makes us happy to watch.